Chorizo Mac and Cheese

We always have some kind of mac and cheese dish for Thanksgiving.  We have tried it with 5 cheeses, with cauliflower, with buffalo chicken, and chorizo.  Chorizo is one of my favorites so I am putting it down in the family recipe book to share with the next generation and with you.  I hope you enjoy it as much as we do and it becomes of a part of one of your traditions!

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Side dish for holidays or any other meal!  Serves 8 – 10.

  • 2 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1 lb elbow pasta
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • 8 oz. shredded sharp white cheddar
  • 4 oz. shredded Gruyere cheese
  • Pinch of white pepper
  • 10 oz. chorizo
  • 3 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 cup panko
  • 1/4 cup green onions plus more for garnish
  • 1/4 cup cilantro plus more for garnish

Heat the oven to 350° F.  In a medium pot cook pasta until al dente.  Drain pasta in a colander, drizzle and mix a little bit of olive oil on the pasta so it does not stick together and set aside.  Make sure all pasta is cleaned from the pot so you can reuse it for the roux.

While pasta is cooking bring milk to a simmer in a small saucepan and keep it warm over low heat.

Melt  butter in the medium pot used for the pasta.  Whisk in sifted flour and cook over medium heat until bubbling.  Add white pepper and whisk until roux is lightly browned.  Gradually whisk in milk until sauce is smooth.  Continue to whisk while bringing to a boil.  Remove mixture from heat and whisk in 6 oz. (1 1/2 cup) sharp white cheddar and the 4 oz. (1 cup) of Gruyere cheese.  Season with salt and black pepper to taste.  Stir in pasta.

Heat 1 tbsp of canola oil in a large skillet.  Add panko to toast, stirring consistently until browned.  Transfer browned panko to a plate so the skillet can be used to cook the chorizo.

Heat the remaining 2 tbsp of canola oil in the skillet and add the chorizo.  Cook chorizo until just cooked through; take off heat and stir in 1/4 cup of chopped green onions and cilantro.  Stir chorizo into pasta and cheese pot.  Season with additional salt and black pepper if needed to taste.

Spoon pasta into a 9 x 13 inch casserole dish; top with remaining sharp white cheddar cheese and toasted panko.  Bake until hot approximately 15 – 20 minutes (I usually cook it about 23 minutes).  Let it stand for about 5 minutes and garnish with green onions and cilantro.

Tools Needed

Green in the Kitchen

I try my best to be as green as possible in the kitchen using organic ingredients and using tools that can be handed down through the generations and/or are sustainably made. I am always on the look out for products that support this vision. Though not perfect I still have tools that are not completely in line with this vision; however, I look forward to taking great care of them and using them as long as possible so they stay out of landfills. Once they have reach their end of life I look forward to introducing an eco-friendly version to the home.

I also look forward to sharing with you what can be composted from each dish so less food waste is sent to landfills. If you have an opportunity to use the unused portions of ingredients in another dish all the better but if you don’t have plans for that whole head of lettuce YOU CAN COMPOST IT!

What Can Be Composted From This Dish?

Cilantro can be composted for sure! Trying making some salsa first before you decide to go that route. We always have salsa on hand and I plan on sharing that family recipe (Tomatillo Chile Arbol Salsa) in the next post.

Green onions can be composted as well. But why does the store provide so much?! We love green onions and use them often but could never go through the whole bundle. While I composted the leftovers (which is great!) I always wondered why I got so much to begin with. That is when my husband and I decided to grow green onions in our garden and only use what we need. We grew our green onions from seed but you can also propagate them.

Propagating Green Onions

  • Cut the green onions down to about 1 inch, leaving roots attached.
  • Stand the root-end down in a small vase/jar/water holding vessel. Add enough water to cover the roots.
  • Keep in a sunny place with plenty of water. Change the water out about once a week.
  • New shoots should come out within a couple days.
  • Plant in a pot with soil once shoots reach about five inches tall. Or plant outside in your garden or anywhere in the yard really.
  • Snip off what you need as you need it! Green onions are a really easy plant to take care of; water when you water your yard (we do three times per week when it is dry/hot and MAYBE once a week when it is really nice out).

Have fun!! That’s what it is all about right?!

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